Prepare Your Belongings for Storage: A How-to Guide

There are items we want to throw away, and there are items we want to hang onto, but we just don’t have the space – like antique furniture, outgrown children’s clothes or artwork. So what should you do with these things? For items you want to keep for future use or sentimental value, it is a god idea to put them in a storage unit. Self-storage units provide a simple and convenient solution. All it takes is choosing an appropriate storage facility and moving your belongings into it. But, before tossing your items inside and locking the door, you want to ensure your belongings will remain in excellent condition while stored. To make this happen, you will need to prepare and pack your items with great care and attention to detail. Check out our useful how-to guide to learn how to prep your belongings for storage.

How to Prep Furniture

  1. If applicable, empty furniture of any items – books, papers, etc. Using a brush attachment for your vacuum, remove any excess dirt, and clean all surfaces with a mild solution of soap and water. Let furniture air dry fully.
  1. Protect your furniture, based on its material. For leather, use a protective spray as well as leather conditioner. For wood finishes, apply a protective coat of wax to seal the wood and reduce the risk of mold development.
  1. Disassemble large furniture pieces (as much as possible). For any protruding elements (table legs, etc.), cover them with a protective layer of bubble wrap.
  1. Pack all detached pieces together so no parts get misplaced. Also, place small hardware parts (bolts, hinges, etc.) in a sealable plastic bag, then tape the bag to the corresponding furniture.
  1. Cover furniture with sheets and blankets. Use specialized fabric furniture covers if your items will be stored long-term, and secure with cinch straps, plastic wrap or rubber bands.

How to Prep Appliances

  1. Empty and thoroughly clean any appliances you intend to put into storage. If you plan to store a fridge/freezer, be sure to defrost it first or expect a wet and moldy disaster!
  1. When cleaning appliances, it’s a good idea to disinfect them properly. A cleaning solution of bleach or baking soda will work as an excellent disinfectant/cleaning agent and will also remove any bad odors.
  1. Completely drain water from any attached hoses or internal mechanisms – especially when storing dishwashers and washing machines. Missing this step can lead to water freezing and damaging your appliances during winter months or mildew during warmer months.
  1. Tie down and secure any attached cables and hoses. Remove any hoses or other attachments, if possible, and store them inside the appliance so they won’t get lost.

Things to consider:

If possible, leave doors on household appliances slightly ajar when stored. This will allow proper ventilation and will prevent condensation and bad odors.

How to Prep Electronic Devices

  1. Ensure all electronics are clean and free of dust.
  1. Pack sensitive electronic devices in their original boxes or ones of similar size and quality. Use crumpled packing paper, foam sheets or anti-static packing peanuts to fill any empty spaces inside boxes to ensure optimal protection during storage.
  1. Seal all boxes tightly in order to keep moisture out and damage away.

How to Prep Clothes

  1. Hang garments on a clothes rail inside wardrobe boxes. This will keep them wrinkle-free and ensure good ventilation to eliminate the risk of mold.
  1. For expensive and delicate clothing items, wrap them in a suitable protective cover to keep them fresh, clean and damage-free.
  1. For clothing that will be stored long-term, use an insect repellant such as naphthalene or mothballs.

Things to consider:

When storing clothes for extended periods of time, avoid folding and piling them into boxes. This will not only lead to wrinkles, but damage due to dust, dampness and mold.

How to Prep Mattresses

  1. Inspect mattresses for any signs of infestation. Also, make sure your mattresses are clean and completely dry. To make sure, consider placing them in a spot with direct sunlight for a few hours.
  1. Place mattresses in a specialized storage bag that supplies a perfect fit. Durable mattress bags are a wise investment when storing mattresses, because they protect against dirt, dust, moisture and pests.
  1. Seal the ends of the plastic protection bags with packing tape.

Things to consider:

Use vacuum bags to save space when storing bedding items, like comforters, duvets, linens, etc.

How to Prep Books

  1. Ensure all books are fully dry. Try spreading them on a table in a sunny room for several days before packing them for storage. Also consider running a dehumidifier in the room.
  1. Wrap leather books in packing paper to eliminate the risk of them sticking to each other.
  1. Place books in small, sturdy boxes. It is recommended to pack books flat – especially larger ones – to prevent damage to their spines.

Things to consider:

Books are incredibly heavy! Avoid using large boxes because they will be too difficult to lift. They may even break under their own weight.

For more useful how-to guides involving your move, click here.

Safest Locks to Protect Your Belongings When Moving

moving security locks - PHOTOOne of the biggest concerns people have during their move is the safety of their possessions. This is of utmost concern during the transportation process – a time that makes it very easy for possessions to be lost or stolen.

When moving, neighbors and passersby are able to get a good sense of the things you own. This puts you at a high risk of burglary and theft. There are also a number of different locations where theft can occur during a move (old and new homes, storage unit, etc.). With so many places storing your belongings at one time, you will have several doors and entrances to secure. Each entry should be protected with a different locking system in order to achieve the highest level of security.

Moving Van

If you require a moving van to transport your belongings from your old home to your new location, whatever you do during this time is the only security your possessions will have. This being said, you will want to secure your moving van so all of your things will be safe. To do this, try the 21B Series of Best Access Systems padlocks. Affordable in price, this lock is easy to find, provides strong security and will stand up to most forced-entry attacks.

Gate

There are only so many hours in the day to tackle everything on your moving to-do list. This can lead to boxes and property being left outside of your home. Since this is fairly inevitable, be sure to leave your belongings behind a gate and in a spot where they will be least visible.

A good locking option for gates is the Abus Granit. The Abus Granit is solid and sturdy and remains secure under six tons of malleable pressure. What makes the Abus Granit so secure? While standard locks use pin tumblers, the Abus Granit uses disk retainers, which are extremely difficult to pick. This lock provides excellent gate protection by stopping those items that cannot be lifted over your gate from being stolen.

Storage Unit

Storage units come in very handy during a move, providing a place to store your possessions until you are ready to permanently take them to your new home. Unfortunately, as handy as storage units are, they can be an unsafe place for your belongings. This is because storage units are often used to secure highly-valuable items and are typically visited infrequently by the owner.

If you intend to use a storage unit at any time during your move, you’ll want to purchase a lock of high-strength mental and carefully designed internal components. One lock that fills these requirements is the Abloy PL362. While more expensive than other padlocks (it is rather large and heavy duty), the Abloy PL 362 provides impressive security to actively protect the valuables inside your unit.

Another positive aspect about the Abloy PL362 is that it is removable. This means you can take it with you once it has served its purpose and can even be used in other parts of your security plan.

Outdoor Structures

Outdoor structures – garages, sheds, storm cellars – are great places to stash items. But don’t forget to secure them! For these spots, you want to be sure you use a different style lock than what’s used on other parts of your home so security will be at its highest.

For outdoor structures, opt for the Mul-T-Lock #13. This solid lock uses a disk containers and also includes sliders and an alpha spring – qualities that make lock bumping or picking very difficult. On top of these key strengths, the Mul-T-Lock #13 also features an anti-drill shield on its keyway and a very strong metal shroud that protects its hardened steel shackle.

Front Door

When ensuring security to your new home, your focus should, first and foremost, be on your front door. One of the top locks on the market is the EVVA MCS. As one of the few locks on the market that has never been successfully picked, it can be argued that it is one of the best and most secure locks available. The EVVA MCS may come with a heftier price tag, but to adequately protect your home and valuables, the investment is worth it.

Moving is never simple, but it can be much safer if you invest in reliable locking systems. Not only will they keep your things safe during your move, they will protect you for years to come.